Barn roofs, houses, unfarmed land — all can be sites for solar energy systems that serve as income generation opportunities for farmers. As energy costs continue to rise, solar energy systems make possible lower operating costs, using less energy to perform daily operations and allowing a more predictable budget for security in years of potential revenue decrease.

A 30% federal tax credit and a depreciation schedule is available to all farm operations. Also available are federal and state grants that reduce the up-front cost of the system, making for a more affordable investment and a faster payback.

Fertilizer, seed and diesel fuel prices keep going up. Farms and agricultural businesses want predicable operating costs. So it makes sense to control some of your input costs. Solar technology lasts over 30 years. If a good business year enables some tax-sheltered capital investments that provide many more years of reduced utility bills, why not do it?

So think of solar as an investment in the future of your farm. The only difference between a solar array and a pole building or a tractor is the utilization and the expected years of payback. Sound capital investments like solar electric and solar thermal energy systems will benefit your family operation over time.